The Conservative government has been caught trying to persecute foreigners and some of the UK’s most vulnerable people – yet again.
The scandal centres once again on the Home Office, which has been trying to pressgang homelessness charities into becoming border guards.
The plan – euphemistically titled the Rough Sleeper Support Service (RSSS) – is to get charity outreach workers to pass on the personal details of homeless people to the Home Office where, if they were found to be from foreign countries, enforcement officers would deport them.
The scheme deliberately ignores data protection and privacy laws by demanding that personal information be passed to the Home Office regardless of whether the subject gives their consent.
This breach of national and international law was imposed to make it easier to deport people. A Home Office email stated that this would be harder if individuals were allowed to withdraw consent for their information to be used in this way, as would be permitted legally.
There has been pushback from charities who have refused to agree a data-sharing deal – that breaks the law – with the Home Office and local authorities.
This Writer wonders whether charities were also being gagged with non-disclosure agreements foisted on them by the Home Office – a Conservative government trick we have encountered before.
It seems odd that the first time this atrocity came to public attention was after the human rights charity Liberty received answers to a Freedom of Information request.
And Liberty was not pleased. According to the charity’s Gracie Bradley:
“It’s disgraceful that the Home Office, local authorities, and charities are attempting to turn trusted homelessness outreach workers into border guards. Homelessness charities must refuse complicity in the hostile environment.
Bradley said referrals will likely result in immigration enforcement action.
She said ministers should be concentrating on combating the root causes of homelessness rather than targeting rough sleepers. “Consent and data protection should also be at the heart of our interactions with public institutions,” she added.
[A] Public Interest Law Centre spokesman added: “Despite its name, the new RSSS offers no ‘support’ to homeless migrants living in the UK. It is a ‘hostile environment’ measure in all but name.”
Shockingly, the Tories have been unrepentant, now that their plan has been revealed.
A Home Office spokesman actually told the Guardian: “This enables individuals to access support or assists them in leaving the UK where appropriate.”
Assists them? They can only be assisted to leave the UK if they have been asked whether they want to – and it seems perfectly clear that the Home Office does not intend to seek any such permissions.
This is yet another atrocity from the home of the “hostile environment” and Home Secretary Sajid Javid should be hauled before Parliament to explain his department’s flagrant abuse of the law.
If he fails to account for his department’s actions, then we will have yet more proof of the Conservative Party’s prejudice against anybody who isn’t rich and privileged.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: